Events at Muratie
Rudnet Farm Health Award
25 Mar 2010
Farmers and farm workers are invited to participate in RUDNET's Farm Health Award Programme that will this year once again be presented. The Farm Health Award programme is aimed at evaluating the socio-economic conditions on farms by determining trends of needs, problems and challenges.
Conditions relating to social needs such as housing, health, incidences of substance abuse, HIV/AIDS, access to social welfare services, etc., are evaluated, as well as skills development and training, life skills promotion, labour relations and compliances with relevant legislation, progressive management styles, and involvement in and promotion of black economic empowerment that benefits all stakeholders.
The programme simultaneously acknowledges the contributions of both farmers and farm workers towards social transformation and black economic empowerment in the agricultural sector, and to promote good labour relations and participatory management on farms, where respect for mutual interests are developed and entrenched.
Participation in the Farm Health Award programme is voluntary and the assessment criteria are not enforced on the farm. However, the findings of assessments are utilised by RUDNET to develop and implement appropriate intervention strategies and programmes to improve the socio-economic conditions of farm workers. Farmers also use the assessment criteria as guidelines to measure their compliance against sector related policy frameworks and charters.
A total of 54 farms participated in the Farm Health Award programme of 2007. These included participants from regions such as Paarl/Wellington, Stellenbosch, Robertson, Caledon, Citrusdal and Vredendal. Twenty two of these farms were from the Vredendal-Citrusdal areas. Farms from across the agricultural sphere participated in the programme, and participation will also be attracted from the Witzenberg, Breederiver, Kannaland and Klein-Karoo areas.
Participants are divided into four categories, namely, Category A, B, C end BEE. This relates basically to the size of the farm, the number of farm workers employed, available infrastructure, location in terms of proximity to the nearest town, and the number of farm workers accommodated on the farm. All farms are measured according to the same assessment criteria and are adjudicated by an independent evaluation panel consisting of representatives from the sector, the Department of Agriculture, civil society and a labour representative.
A Farm Health Award Ceremony is held during December where category winners and the "RUDNET Farm Worker of the Year" are announced. The latter is done to promote positive role models and self-esteem amongst farm workers.
The Award Winners of the 2007 Farm Health Award Programme:
Karnemelksvlei of Citrusdal - 1st Place Award Winner for sound labour relations and successful black economic empowerment, and of which Lena "Tiekie" September also received a Special Recognition for contributions to Farm Worker Empowerment on the farm:
Plaisir de Merle near Simondium, Paarl - 2nd Place for general labour relations and sound social conditions);
Simonsig Wine Estate near Stellenbosch - 3rd Place for sound social development, skills training and BEE).
Oak Valley Estate in the Overberg region - 1st Place for excellent labour relations, outstanding skills training, sound safety and security and environmental management, and BEE;
Lucerne (Smuts Broers Agri) of Robertson - 2nd Place for sound labour relations, excellent skills training and employment equity, and outstanding social development;
Blaauwklippen Agricultural Estates near Stellenbosch - 3rd Place for sound labour relations, outstanding social development and contributions to early childhood development by funding and sustaining a crèche operating on the “Waldorf” principles).
Bosman Boerdery of Wellington - 1st Place for excellent labour relations, good social conditions, sound skills development and employment equity, genuine BEE; with a second BEE-project envisaged, good environmental management and community safety;
Muratie Wine Estate near Stellenbosch - 2nd Place for sound labour relations and satisfactory skills training, BEE and good social conditions);
Beyerskloof near Stellenbosch - 3rd Place for general labour relations, skills training and social development).
Bouwland near Stellenbosch - 1st Place for excellent skills training, social development and labour relations);
Papkuilsfontein near Darling - 2nd Place for sound labour relations, social development and skills training).
Other farms that particapted included Houmoed, Melkboom, Vergenoegd, Montana, Doringvlei, Welgemeen, Bruinklip and Welverdiend of Vredendal-Citrusdal area, and Diemersfontein near Wellington.
The RUDNET Farm Worker of the Year Award was awarded to Klaas Morkel of Bosman Boerdery (which was also a category winner in Category C) for his special contributions to the social upliftment, economic empowerment, sound labour relations and the promotion of constructive recreational opportunities on the farm, whilst also addressing community problems and needs such as substance abuse and youth development.
The programme also paid tribute to and acknowledged the contributions of:
- Prof Nick Vink of Stellenbosch University to social transformation of the Wine Industry and the management of the drafting of the Wine Industry Charter and Score Card;
- Dr Gerhard van Wyk for research about alcohol abuse and incidences of FAS on wine farms in the different wine producing areas;
- Mr Graham Beck and Mrs Rhona Beck of Gaham Beck Wines, Robertson for contributions to skills development and training in the agricultural sector and the establishment of the Graham and Rhona Beck Skills Centre in Robertson.
The Farm Health Award evaluation tool was also used as a baseline for defining the elements for rural development and poverty alleviation of the Wine Industry Charter and Score Card.
Please contact the Project Coordinator, Celeste Cloete-Carolus on (021) 883-8016 or email@example.com for further information, or the Director, Leslie Fillis at 082 464 9978.